Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea
Born Michelle Tomasik
Chelsea, Massachusetts , United States
Occupation Author, poet
Genre Poetry, memoir, fiction

Michelle Tea (born Michelle Tomasik, 1971) is an autobiographical works explore queer culture, feminism, race, social class, prostitution, and other topics.[1] She is originally from Chelsea, Massachusetts and currently lives in San Francisco.[2] Her books, mostly memoirs, are known for their views into the queercore community.[1] In 2012 Tea partnered with City Lights Publishers to form the Sister Spit imprint.[3]


  • Spoken word and magazine writing 1
  • Recent work 2
  • Academics 3
  • Critical acclaim 4
  • Published work 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Spoken word and magazine writing

Tea was the co-founder of the Sister Spit spoken word tour.[1] She has toured with the Sex Workers' Art Show[4] alongside Ducky DooLittle and others. She is also a contributor to The Believer magazine[5] and was the co-writer of the weekly astrology column, Double Team Psychic Dream with astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo, in the San Francisco Bay Guardian newspaper.[4]

Recent work

Michelle Tea founded Radar Productions in 2003 and currently serves as their Creative Director. A non-profit based in San Francisco, Radar Productions produces a number of literary-based projects in the Bay area and beyond.[6]

More recently, Tea has continued to step outside her work as a writer to serve as the Executive Producer of Valencia: The Movie. Based on her novel of the same name, the experimental film was spearheaded with filmmaker Hilary Goldberg.[7][8] Valencia was filmed by 20 different lesbian, queer and trans directors, each assigned a different chapter of her novel. The twenty one different ‘Michelle’ characters “vary in age, gender, size, ethnicity, style and era” [9]

Michelle Tea is also currently writing an ongoing series for [15]


In February 2008, Michelle was the 23rd Zale Writer-in-Residence at the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College Institute at Tulane University.[16] She did not go to college and, in interviews, has discussed the assumption that she has studied.[4]

Critical acclaim

While touring together in the year 2000, Tea and writer Clint Catalyst came up with the idea to solicit first-person narratives for their 2004 anthology Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache. Described by Publishers Weekly as a "celebrat[ion of] the avant-garde,"[17] the book, which includes work by JT Leroy, Dennis Cooper, and Eileen Myles, reached #10 on the Los Angeles Times non-fiction paperback bestseller list in its first week of release.[18] Moreover, the book was a 2004 Lambda Literary Awards finalist in the Anthologies/Fiction category.[19] Indeed, her books have won a nomination in the competition virtually every year since her Valencia won for best Lesbian Fiction in 2000.[20][21][22][23][24][25]

She was awarded the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize by the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in 2008.

Published work

  • The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America (1998) ISBN 1-57027-074-0
  • Valencia (2000) ISBN 1-58005-035-2
  • The Chelsea Whistle (2002) ISBN 1-58005-073-5
  • The Beautiful (2003) ISBN 0-916397-89-0
  • Rent Girl (2004) ISBN 0-86719-620-3
  • Rose of No Man's Land (2006) ISBN 1-59692-160-9
  • Transforming Community (2007) ISBN 0-9789023-4-3
  • Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir (2013) ISBN 0-385525915 (with Beth Ditto)
  • Mermaid in Chelsea Creek (2013) ISBN 1-938073363
  • Pills, Thrills, Chills, and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person (ed. with Clint Catalyst) (2004) ISBN 1-55583-753-0
  • Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class (ed.) (2004) ISBN 1-58005-103-0
  • Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl's Writing (ed.) (2006) ISBN 0-7867-1792-0
  • Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road (ed.) (2012) ISBN 0-87286-566-5


  1. ^ a b c Hellman, David (2004-04-11). "Tea leaves the East for the West to sing the body electric".  
  2. ^ Tea, Michelle (ed.) (2007). Baby Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing. New York: Carroll & Graf. p. .  
  3. ^ Steve Berman (2012-07-03). "Michelle Tea: A Writer’s Passion". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  4. ^ a b c "Interview with Michelle Tea". After Ellen. May 2004. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  5. ^ "Contributors: Michelle Tea". The Believer. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ "ABOUT @ RADAR Productions". Radarproductions.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  7. ^ Pulley, Anna (2013-06-25). "Review: "Valencia: The Movie" premieres at Frameline". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  8. ^ Dennis Harvey (2013-07-12). "‘Valencia’ Review: Twenty Directors Take on Michelle Tea’s Novel". Variety. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  9. ^ "Valencia: The Movie/s @ RADAR Productions". Radarproductions.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  10. ^ "Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea". xoJane. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  11. ^ "Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea: I Have a Donor! Plus, I'm Dating Someone". xoJane. 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  12. ^ "Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea: Scrolling Through Sperm Donors". xoJane. 2012-12-18. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  13. ^ "Michelle Tea: Homophobia at the Fertility Clinic". xoJane. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  14. ^ "Getting Pregnant With Michelle Tea: Dashiell's Ovaries RULE!". xoJane. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  15. ^ a b "Q&A With Michelle Tea on Her New Alternative Parenting Project "Mutha Magazine" | Bitch Media". Bitchmagazine.org. Retrieved 2013-10-30. 
  16. ^ "Zale Writer-in-Residence Program at Newcomb". Tulane.edu. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ Paperbacks; BESTSELLERS; LOS ANGELES TIMES LIST FOR MARCH 14, 2004, Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2004, p. R.11 
  19. ^ [2]
  20. ^ "13th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved ~{0} ~{1}. 
  21. ^ "15th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  22. ^ "16th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  23. ^ "17th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  24. ^ "19th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. 2010-06-10. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  25. ^ "20th Annual Lambda Literary Awards". Lambda Literary. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 

External links

  • Official website
  • "Sister Spit Takes Over REDCAT". The Advocate. 
  • "Read Local: 10 New and Forthcoming Books from City Lights". SF Weekly. 
  • "Mermaid in Chelsea Creek"Michelle Tea turns a radical eye on YA in . Los Angeles Times. 
  • "Tea and Spit". OUT.